There isn't a more beautiful time of the year to take a walk at Mountain View Cemetery than in the Autumn. The trees are particularly stunning, with leaves ranging from yellows and oranges, to various shades of green and red. Perhaps the most unique specimen on the grounds is the rare Dawn Redwood, which is currently pumpkin orange and not to be believed.
Docent Chris Patillo has put together a wonderful book of the trees at Mountain View Cemetery, which you can download at her Historic American Landscapes Survey blog.
Here's what she has to say about the Dawn Redwood:
The Dawn Redwood is one of Mountain View Cemetery's most distinguished species, known to have existed in prehistoric times. It is one of the very few deciduous conifers, meaning that it loses its leaves in winter. In spring, the new growth is a soft yellow-green, much like the California Redwood in form. In fall, the needle-like leaves turn golden yellow. The trunk is deeply furrowed and twisted. The Dawn Redwood is native to China and can grow to 90 feet or more. The species was discovered in 1945 and imported to the United States in 1948 by the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard.
I will be co-leading a docent tour with Stafford Buckley on December 26, 2009 at 10 AM. Meet us near the main office as we explore the historic figures who founded Mountain View Cemetery, show off our beautiful angels and visit the graves of Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan.
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